New Covert advances switch from MISO with PJM

PJM Interconnection said in a July 2014 study that New Covert Generating Co. LLC, which has an existing 1,200-MW combined cycle plant in Michigan that supplies the Midcontinent ISO market, wants to as of 2016 access the PJM market.

The facility is connected radially to Michigan Electric Transmission Co. (METC, an ITC Interconnection company) facilities at the Palisades 345-kV Station in southwest Michigan. The Covert plant is presently participating in the MISO market and the company has applied to participate in the PJM market (under PJM Queue #T94) and proposes to connect to the nearby American Electric Power (AEP)-owned portion of the Cook Junction-Palisades 345-kV double circuit line (DCT), which is an interconnection between AEP and ITC.

The interconnection will require establishing a new 345 kV switching station, Segreto, that will tie into the AEP-owned 345 kV DCT and will include a new single 345-kV line to the Covert station. The requested in service date is June 1, 2016, the PJM study noted.

Saying that timing concerns raised by Consumers Energy are too “speculative,” the Federal Regulatory Commission on July 1 approved an agreement related to the switch of this plant to PJM. On May 2, MISO had filed with FERC filed an engineering and procurement agreement covering grid upgrades between Michigan Electric Transmission and New Covert Generating.

The agreement states that New Covert intends to disconnect its existing facility in Van Buren County, Mich., from Michigan Electric’s transmission system, operated by MISO, and to interconnect the facility to ITC’s transmission system, operated by PJM.

Consumers Energy told the commission that two timing gaps could occur prior to the anticipated Sept. 30, 2015, in-service date for the network upgrades on the Michigan Electric transmission system; one gap could occur should New Covert disconnect from Michigan Electric prior to that date and the other should New Covert interconnect to the PJM system before the proposed network upgrades are in place. It stated that the area of New Covert’s generating facility has been subject to unusually high congestion costs in recent months and that these congestion costs are likely to be exacerbated by New Covert’s move to PJM. Consumers Energy urged that Michigan Electric’s customers not be exposed to any resultant increased congestion costs.

“We find that the May 2 Filing appears to be just and reasonable and has not been shown to be unjust, unreasonable, unduly discriminatory or preferential or otherwise unlawful,” the FERC commissioners said in their July 1 order. “Accordingly, we will accept the E&P Agreement for filing, to become effective on May 3, 2014, as requested, for good cause shown. We find Consumers Energy’s arguments regarding timing gaps that could occur prior to the anticipated September 30, 2015 in-service date for the network upgrades, the potential for increased congestion costs associated with New Covert’s move to PJM, and whether an Attachment Y Notice is required at this time, to be speculative and beyond the scope of this proceeding. We note that none of Consumers Energy’s arguments challenge the justness and reasonableness of the E&P Agreement itself.”

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.